“Do you celebrate the same holidays in Hawaii as we do in the states?” asked a potential visitor. The answer is both “yes” and “no.” “Yes” because Hawaii IS one of “the states” so the same federal holidays are observed. But “no” because Hawaii adds some state holidays you won’t find anywhere else.

While today is observed as Martin Luther King Day here, Hawaii also honors a former King of the islands and a prince. These are the only two holidays in the United States dedicated to royalty. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day is celebrated on the twenty-sixth day of March but will be observed this year on Friday, March 25. Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole was a prince of the reigning House of Kalakaua when the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893. He later served as a delegate to the U.S. Congress; the only congressperson who was born a royal. He was instrumental in creating Hawaii’s other royal holiday, that honoring the man who unified the islands under one rule. King Kamehameha I Day is celebrated on the eleventh day in June but observed in 2011 on Friday, June 10.

Hawaii state holidays also include Good Friday, Statehood Day, and Election Day in election years.

YEAR 2011 HAWAII STATE HOLIDAYS (Hawaii Rev. Statutes, Sec. 8-1)

Day Observed in 2011 (Official Date Designated in Statute/Constitution)

  • New Year’s Day: Dec. 31, 2010 (The first day in January)
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Jan. 17 (The third Monday in January)
  • President’s Day: Feb. 21 (The third Monday in February)
  • Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day: Mar. 25 (The twenty-sixth day in March)
  • Good Friday: Apr. 22 (The Friday preceding Easter Sunday)
  • Memorial Day: May 30 (The last Monday in May)
  • King Kamehameha I Day: June 10 (The eleventh day in June)
  • Independence Day: July 4 (The fourth day in July)
  • Statehood Day: Aug. 19 (The third Friday in August)
  • Labor Day: Sept. 5 (The first Monday in September)
  • Veterans’ Day: Nov. 11 (The eleventh day in November)
  • Thanksgiving: Nov. 24 (The fourth Thursday in November)
  • Christmas: Dec. 26 (The twenty-fifth day in December)

In addition to these official holidays, Hawaii’s unique cultural mix means there are MANY more social, cultural and religious celebrations. It’s hard to find a month without several island-wide festivities, so be sure to make this part of your Hawaii Vacation Package.

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